My Lent Commitment

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I’ve really been praying about what to do for Lent this year (it starts tomorrow, February 13th and ends Saturday, March 30th). I’m not Catholic, but I find great satisfaction in committing to bettering myself in some way that challenges me to rely on The Lord. Are you familiar with Lent? I really wasn’t until a few years ago when Superman was in poor health and I committed to getting up early each morning specifically to pray for him. It was an amazing experience. Last year, I committed to engaging in physical activity with our kids for at least 15 minutes a day. That was a challenge, but I did it, with God’s help. It may not seem like much, but being home all day every day with 5 kids makes it difficult to want to actually engage more with them. You can read more about what Lent is HERE.

So, back to my dilemma. 

There are lots of things I could “give up” for Lent. But in some ways, giving up something is easier than actively doing something that I’m not used to. So, I decided this year, for 40 days, I am going to commit to only saying uplifting words to my kids. Now this doesn’t mean that I am not going to discipline them. But, I tend to be sarcastic. Ask any of my friends, and they will tell you that many things that come out of my mouth are sarcastic. And I’m ok with sarcasm, as long as it’s not at the expense of someone else. And for some reason, when it comes to my kids, I tend to be very sarcastic when I talk to them. I’m ashamed to say that I often use sarcasm as a mask to make it seem ok when I’m cutting down my kid for doing or saying something that they shouldn’t. Wow, even as I’m writing this, I’m seeing my hypocrisy. I would never treat my friends like that. And it doesn’t even cross my mind to talk to Superman like that. But these innocent children? I guess I subconsciously see them as easy targets.

Whew.

That was hard for me to write.

In all honesty, I’m pretty upset with myself that I even have to make this a Lent commitment. Why the heck do I do it? I’m sure it has a lot to do with childhood issues, a dysfunctional childhood, blah, blah, blah. But c’mon. I’m a big girl. I have no excuse to treat my kids that way. Ok, it’s not like I’m abusing them, but I bet if I were to videotape my interactions with our kids all day long, I would be ashamed to show that video to anyone outside our family. So, that’s a big red flag for me. It’s time to take this bull by the horns and own it. I’m looking right into that bull’s eyes, and I see my reflection. Now, am I going to get pummeled? Or will I be its master? Well, I’ll tell you in 40 days. Actually, I’ll keep you posted over these next 6 weeks or so. I’m sure some of my mishaps will make it in to my Friday Confessions.

So, do you practice Lent? If so, do you want to share what you’re doing? If you haven’t done it before, I encourage you to pick something you’d like to better in yourself, something that would be a challenge, and share that info with friends (or with me!). Accountability is key!

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Comments

  1. Sarah Stanley says

    Love it! I haven’t practiced Lent before, but I’m going to think about it tonight. I would love to have something to work on over the next 40 days!

  2. Amber L. says

    I tend to be very sarcastic with my children, too. You’ve definitely convicted me! I think I’m in, if you don’t mind me being a copycat!

  3. Heather Simpson says

    I love your blog! I don’t know a lot of people who would share that openly and honestly. I am giving up dessert for 40 days. If you knew me, you’d know what a big deal this is! lol

  4. Natasha says

    I think you’re being harder on yourself than you need to! I know we all do things with our kids that we wish we didn’t. But I admire your willingness to put it out there for accountability. Good luck!

  5. sarah sprouse says

    I’ll pray for you! Maybe I should make this commitment too- I can be sarcastic but I think my kids find it more annoying that I am impatient. I hate to run late (yet we constantly seem to) and I can be very mean to them when I am in a hurry. Recently I went to give Alex a little swat on the bum because she was still not moving after the 3rd time I asked and since she finally jumped out of the van at the same time, I ended up smacking her on the upper back and I could see it was red. =(

    So you aren’t alone!

  6. says

    I grew up in an Episcopal household, yet we never actively practiced Lent. And even becoming a born again, it never really crossed my mind. Until last week. I made the decision to start making fruit blends and smoothies on a daily basis (after watching a juicing documentary) and made a rather large produce order that came in today. I didn’t realize it was Lent until hearing it on the radio.

    (And I wouldn’t be ok with sharing a daily video of our household as well – you are not alone!)

  7. says

    I am similar to you and I love committing to something for Lent as well even though I am not Catholic. It’s an amazing thing to do once a year. This year I have been trying to figure out something to commit too. I just know that no matter what, something always good from the 40 day commitment!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Katie

  8. says

    I think adding instead of subtracting is such a great way to do Lent. So many people give up something trite and completely miss the point. Adding is a great way to avoid that as well as starting out on a positive note instead of a feeling of deprivation.

  9. says

    Oh my goodness – I am such a sarcastic person and this has carried over to being a sarcastic mom too and I feel so awful knowing it is NOT what the Lord would have me be to my littles! I haven’t observed Lent before but have been trying to cut out my sarcasm when disciplining and conversing my kiddos.

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